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  • Writer's pictureClaudio

3 Uses of Present Tense in Spanish (for Past and Future)

Updated: Mar 4

How to use the Present Tense in Spanish in past and future contexts.

Young adult woman with AR headset looking at how to use the present tense in Spanish.

Normally, we use the Present Tense to express ourselves in the present time, and to talk about things that usually happens in our present lives…

For example:

- Me gusta comer sano

- I like to eat healthy

- Cada mañana, me despierto a las 7:00, voy al gimnasio por 1 hora…

- Every morning, I wake up at 7:00, go to the gym for 1 hour…

But…, the Present Tense in Spanish can be also used in both PAST and FUTURE contexts…, and this is 100% grammatically correct. Yes! It’s true…, we have specific tenses for that to, but using the Present in these contexts makes each phrase sound more “alive” and “real” respectively 🙂

Let’s see how it works!


It’s mostly used to describe past events with the intention of make them sound more “alive”:

  • Hace mucho tiempo, en una antigua ciudad del viejo Egipto, un Faraón SE ENCUENTRA cara a cara con un escriba y LE DICE…, blablabla…

  • Once upon a time, in an ancient city of old Egypt, a Pharaoh MEETS face to face with a scribe and SAYS..., blablabla...

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It’s mostly used to describe future plans with the intention of make them sound more “real”. it’s like making that “not-completely-real future thing” a reality, because already in the present…, at least in our mind:

  • En los próximos 12 meses, yo TERMINO este proyecto, estoy muy seguro de esto.

  • In the next 12 months, I FINISH this project, I am pretty sure of this.

I hope this explanation will be useful for you, as well as for other people reading this blog post 🙂

That being said, in case you want to push yourself beyond all correct uses of the Present Tense in Spanish, maybe finding new and powerful resources, plus the opportunity to practice your Spanish by talking in a professionally managed environment, if you want, you can take a look at our Live Conversation Classes (384 Classes available per YEAR — 1 to 6 students per class) 🙂

Complete Spanish Courses — from Zero to HERO in 6 months — can be found through our homepage 🚀

Qué tengas un maravilloso día!


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